Partners

Jan Evangelista Purkyne University in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic (UJEP)

UJEP is a Leading organization at #G4687

Multinational team of #G4687 is led by NATO Partner Director (NDP) professor Valentina Pidlisnyuk, Dr.Sc., Department of Technical Sciences, faculty of the Environment

Members of the team at UJEP (young researchers):

Dr.Josef Trogl, Associate professor, Faculty of the Environment

Mgr.Diana Nebeska, PhD student, Faculty of the Environment

Mgr. Julius Janacek, PhD student, Faculty of Socio-Economics Sciences

The team involved in the project is experienced in launching and accomplishment of international scientific and educational projects including TEMPUS-TASIS, German-Czech trans-bounder Fund, Civil Research Development Foundation, Vyshegrad Fund’s including those focused on biotechnology and revitalization of the environment.

UJEP

Jan Evangelista Purkyne University in Usti nad Labem is a public university established in 1991. UJEP is the oldest and largest (about 900 stuff members) higher educational institution in the Ustecký region of Northern Czech Republic, and represents a considerable research, educational and cultural centre of the region. Comprising of 8 diverse faculties, UJEP offers a wide variety of studies (55 programmers and 173 specializations). Currently about 10000 students study here.
The research activities of UJEP focus on two major issues: materials and technologies for the environment and quality of life and the role of city and region in the complex of current challenges. UJEP is a part of research infrastructure entitled NanoEnviCz (Nanomaterials and Nanotechnologies for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Future). UJEP has a developed system of adult education and education on-line. UJEP collaborates in research, education with foreign partners from EU (Germany,
Sweden, Finland, Slovakia, Croatia, UK), partner countries (Turkey, Ukraine), and other countries worldwide (USA, Russia, Vietnam).

Faculty of the Environment consists of four departments: information and geo-information, natural sciences, technical sciences, and community service. Faculty offers education programmers at three levels of education: Bachelor, Master and PhD, currently about 800 students study at the Faculty.

Department of the Technical Science is focused on research in environmental biotechnologies: innovative wastewater treatment, bioremediation, phytotechnologies with biofuel crops, composite materials with integrated biologicals, and biosensors. Applied research at the department is related to the requests of the Czech Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Education and Sciences as well as local industry. Department has well equipped laboratories with Gas Chromatographs, IR spectrometers, Mass-spectrometers, however, for providing a project an equipment for elemental analysis has to be purchased.

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UJEP team (from left to right): Dr.Josef Trogl, PhD student Diana Nebeska, PPD Dr.Tetyana Stefanovska, Ing. Lenka Seidlova, NPD prof. Valentina Pidlisnyuk
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Research military site - former airport of the soviet army in Mimon, Czech Republic
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Place for sampling of military soil in Mimon
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Sampling soil in Mimon

National University of Life and the Environment, Kyiv, Ukraine (NULES)

NULES represents NATO partner institution at the G4687 project.

The Partner country Director (PPD) of the project is associate professor Tatyana Stefanovska, Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of the Biotechnology and Ecology.

The young researchers:

Associate professor Ludmila Kava, PhD
Associate professor Volodymir Kvak, PhD.
Mgr. Maria Ovruch, PhD student
Mgr. Svitlana Yaschuk
Mrg. Artem Medkov, PhD student

The team is experiences in accomplishment of international and in-state projects in biotechnology, plant protection, and integrated pest management, including those of Civil Research Development Foundation, TEMPUS-TACIS and ERASMUS.

NULES

National University of Life and the Environmental Science of Ukraine
15, Herojv Oborony str,
Kyiv 03041, Ukraine
www.nubip.edu.ua
tel/fax: +380 (44) 527-82-33

The University has 12 Research-Educational Institutes and Southern branch affiliated with it. The Institute of Crop Science, Ecology and Biotechnologies as the largest one and offers 12 majors. The Institute has four faculties within its structure: Ecology and Sustainable Development, Biotechnology, Agrobiology and Plant Protection.
The Department of Entomology is a unit within the Plant Protection, Biotechnology and Ecology Faculty.
The research-focused areas of the Department of Entomology are the following:

  • Agricultural pest’s management for cereal, legume, sugar beet/ orchard’s, small berries and energy crops;
  • Insect pathology (entomopathogenic nematodes);
  • Technologies of mass rearing of Trichogramma wasps, and insects and predatory mites for green.

Evaluation of risk from pests in changing agricultural landscapes during production of second-generation energy crops, in particularly Miscanthus x giganteus and Panicum virgatum.
That research is provided at the IML-laboratory with modest equipment and the field plots space to conduct experiments. The laboratory has 2 incubators, distiller, refrigerators, dissecting and compound microscopes, centrifuge, computers, copy machines. However, some procurement of equipment is needed to complete the project, in particularly, spectrophotometer, sterilizer, plant growth incubator, soil probes, sieves and accessories.

Kansas State University

Kansas State University is represented at G4687 by:

Co-Director Dr. Larry Erickson, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Head of the Center for Hazardous Substances Research, Faculty of the Environmental Engineering
Co-Director Dr. Lawrence Davis, Professor of Biochemistry Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, College of Arts and Sciences,
Co-Director Dr. Ganga Hettiarachchi, Professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry, Kansas Agricultural Research Station.

Dr. Kraig Roozeboom, Associate Professor of Cropping Systems
Mr. Zafer Alasmary, Ph.D. Student in Soil and Environmental Chemistry Laboratory

Kansas State University, USA

Kansas State University is the university in Kansas that includes Colleges of Agriculture, Human Ecology, and Veterinary Medicine in addition to Arts and Sciences, Education, Engineering, Architecture, and Business Administration.
The Internet site for Kansas State University is http://www.k-state.edu; The Center for Hazardous Substance Research has an Internet site at http://www.engg.ksu.edu/chsr.

K-State Center for Hazardous Substance Research

Hazardous substance research began in 1985 when special funding was made available to establish an office of hazardous waste research. In 1989 Kansas State University became the headquarters for the Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Hazardous Substance Research Center, a consortium of universities that worked cooperatively on the remediation of contaminated soil and ground water with funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The K-State Center for Hazardous Substance Research provides administrative leadership and clerical support for the consortium. From 2002 to 2008, Kansas State University had a cooperative research effort with the Institute of Plant Biology and Biotechnology in Kazakhstan, in which Larry Erickson and Asil Nurzhanova worked cooperatively on the "Phytoremediation of Kazakhstan Soils Polluted by Pesticides." This research was supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and resulted in joint publications. Faculty from Arts and Sciences, including Dr. Lawrence Davis, and faculty from the College of Agriculture, including Dr. Gary Pierzynski have conducted research supported by the Hazardous Substance Research Center.
One of the current areas of work of the Center for Hazardous Substance Research is to provide public education and support for the restoration of contaminated land to productive use through the Technical Assistance to Brownfields program. This program is one ongoing program in which the results of the proposed NATO research will be helpful. The Kansas State University Extension Service is a resource that has valuable information and professionals to assist communities with land restoration needs, also.

College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University

The College of Arts and Sciences, is the largest college in the university with more than 25 departments. The Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, with 13 full-time tenure-track faculty members, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, supports a broad range of research. The Graduate Group in BMB with 30 faculty members from several departments, in different colleges, administers interdisciplinary graduate programs
The department website is www.k-state.edu/bmb/
Research in Davis’ laboratory has always included collaborations with faculty in other colleges, particularly agriculture, and engineering, through association with the Center for Hazardous Substance Research. Over 40 peer-reviewed and a like number of proceedings publications have come from that collaborative effort. Davis' lab is equipped with all the usual for a biochemistry laboratory including fume hoods, precision balances, spectrophotometers, microbial and plant culture solutions, thermal conductivity gas chromatograph, computers and printers with appropriate software. Facilities are available, and routinely used, for laboratory growth of plants in the department. There is access to greenhouse space for studies at a larger scale under more "natural" conditions.
environmental conditions. Facilities for drying and grinding plant samples (Wiley mill) are available in the lab.

Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station, USA

The Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station (KAES) is the research component of K-State Research and
Extension which is dedicated to a safe and sustainable food and fiber system and to strong, healthy communities, families, and youth through integrated research, analysis, and education. Our research programs provide the latest information used by our extension programs to address the grand challenges facing Kansas citizens. The Kansas Agricultural Experimental Station is a part of Land Grant System, Hatch Act of 1887- federal support for ag research at the state and territorial level and establishment of Agricultural Experiment Stations at each land-grant institution. The URL for KAES is www.ksre.ksu.edu. Most researchers who receive salary from the KAES have joint appointments in which a portion of their salary is to conduct research for KAES and a portion is to educate students at K-State. Dr. Hettiarachchi has a 12 months appointment with 70% Research and 30% teaching.

Hettiarachchi lab is well equipped for work with soil and plant samples to detect trace levels of metals.
Instrumentation includes: Wiley Mill for plant grinding, biosafety cabinet for handling trace metal analysis plant samples, microwave sample digestion apparatus, ICP-OES and GF-AAs for element detection, LECO analyzer for total C and N measures, spectrophotometer for enzymatic analyses, centrifuges, balances, rotary shaker, drying ovens. Greenhouse space is available for growth of plants in contaminated soils in a contained environment. Sampling equipment for field work is available, while machines for site preparations can be freely borrowed from the Department of Agronomy at K-State.
Analytical techniques for monitoring metal content of plants will be conducted in the labs of Hettiarachchi. Methods are described in the overview of that laboratory. Routine measures of soil and plant materials, such as N, P, K analysis, are services purchased from the central analytical labs used for the Agricultural Experiment Station, and Extension Service.

Main Research Goals:

  1. EEstablish miscanthus (a second generation bioenergy crop) on contaminated lands located at Fort Riley Army installation, Kansas, U.S.A. (Led by Prof. Davis)
  2. TTesting appropriate soil amendments or amendment mix to optimize production of miscanthus, improve soil quality, and/or reduce bioaccessibility of soil contaminants (led by Prof. Hettiarachchi)
  3. TTransfer information to end users of this newly developed technology, and exchange information across continents (Led by Prof. Erickson)

Goal 1:

Summer 2015- present

Since summer 2015, we are testing high density planting with minimal maintenance as an alternative establishment technique at the Fort Riley Military Base Research site (39°11′30″N 96°35′30″W). This effort is on-going and working well.

In 2016, we took a somewhat high maintenance approach (details are given under goal 2). It has shown outstanding results. Plants are doing well, have many shoots and close to closed canopy all over.

2016 Study Design: Total 20 plots this year, 4 treatments, 4 replications, 4 check plots of native vegetation in a randomized complete block (RCBD) design.

Each planted treatment had 4 central propagules (rhizomes) of at least 2 oz (closer to 3 oz) in a square 18 inch x 18 inch (~45 x 45 cm). Surrounding this are 12 border plants of ~2 oz each using the same spacing. Hence we used 256 propagules for 2016 planting of about 30 x 40 ft. This is half the standard commercial planting distance and 4x the density. Such a high density of planting was chosen to accelerate the rate of stand canopy closure to 1 season. The effort was successful as seen in the pictures.

Rainfall has been good thus far with about 50 cm over 4 months. Only 1 small supplementary irrigation was used several weeks after planting. For year 1 (2015) there was no supplementary irrigation. Weeds were actively managed this year (2016 plots).

Goal 2:

Field studies:

Specific objectives: To determine whether phosphorus rich organic and inorganic amendments will decrease the lead bioaccessibility and/or improve soil quality.
We have included following treatments in the field study initiated in 2016. This will be continued through 2018.

  1. Check plots- no, till, cleared and then left fallow
  2. No till, alone -killing off live vegetation and then planting miscanthus directly into undisturbed soil (treatment 1)
  3. Tilled, alone (treatment 2), killing off live vegetation, tilled and then planting miscanthus directly into undisturbed soil
  4. Tilled plus incorporated Class B biosolids (treatment 3)
  5. Tilled plus phosphorus fertilizer (triple superphosphate incorporated) (treatment 4)

Initial soil sampling were done before and after adding soil amendments. Analysis is underway. Sampling of aboveground biomass and soils (End of the growing season) will occur about the end of October 2016.

Greenhouse studies:

Will be initiated in spring 2017.
Specific objectives: screening effective soil amendments for better yield, better soil quality and reduction of contaminant availability

Incubation studies:

Will be initiated in 2017 and continued through 2018
Specific objectives: Evaluation of in situ soil amendments on speciation and bioaccessibility of lead in contaminated soil.

Goal 3:

Three Day Seminar "Phytotechnology with Biomass Production"

In January 2018, a three day seminar will be offered at Kansas State University in support of the class CHE 650 Hazardous Waste Engineering Seminar with videotaping for world-wide use of the materials for educational purposes.

Edited Book: Phytoremediation with Biomass Production

An edited book with the tentative title Phytoremediation with Biomass Production is being developed. Topics for the seminar and book include production of biomass in contaminated soils, soil quality improvement, establishment of miscanthus and switch grass in contaminated soils, pest management, management of vegetation in contaminated soils, and markets for miscanthus and switch grass.

Individuals who have an interest in participating in the seminar and/or book project are invited to contact Larry E. Erickson or Valentina Pidlisnyuk.

Summary of findings to date:

From our results so far, we can say that for larger plantations, the approach depends on costs of site preparation and weeding, vs stock material. The needed approach may be very site specific.

Field experiments conducted in 2015 indicated that lead (Pb) uptake by miscanthus, without any soil amendment, was minimal. At soil Pb concentration of about 1000 mg kg-1, Pb concentration in miscanthus tissue samples (aboveground) was ranged from 20- 30 mg kg-1 of dry matter.

Description of the photos:

Photo #1. Zafer Alasmary, PhD student, and Larry Davis, Professor of Biochemistry, prepare miscanthus propagules for planting.

Based on preliminary work done in 2015, we determined that the mass of root planted is a critical factor in good establishment, (as reported by others in a different region of the U.S.A.). Freshly dug root material was cut into pieces so that each planting point received 1 to 4 root segments, totaling 60 to 90 grams fresh weight for the 2016 season. In 2015 we used much smaller propagules, some actively growing under laboratory conditions, others stored at 4 Celsius for a month or even 1 or 2 years, either from laboratory or field source.

In 2015 the planting bed was simply cleared of above-ground vegetation manually with no tilling or herbicide use. Propagules were planted at 45 cm intervals. These smaller plants were less competitive with the native vegetation with up to 1/3 failing to survive from some treatments. Even so, by middle of 2nd year a full canopy is established, because of the initial dense planting strategy.

Photo #2. Zafer Alasmary, PhD student, Larry Davis, Professor of Biochemistry and Larry Erickson, professor of environmental Engineering , preparing tilled-plots for 2016 field plot installation

Photo #4. Zafer Alasmary, PhD student, and Ganga Hettiarachchi, Professor of Soil and Environmental Chemistry, talk about analytical procedures to be carried out on soil and plant digestates.
Photo #7. Year 2015 and 2016 field plots in August 2016. This view has a check plot immediately beyond the post in center. Toward the left the rain gage is located and it is at the near corner of the year 1 (2015) plot which is behind all the rest and growing a bit taller. This view is to the northwest of the site. There are 5 plots across from right to left to the post at far left of photo, and 4 from front to back (toward right). Total 20 plots this year, 4 treatments, 4 replications, 4 check plots of native vegetation in a randomized complete block design.

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Case study in miscanthus phytomanagement from Dr.Porrut, Lille university, France
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Dr. Kava's report at the training
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Field trip to the demonstration site
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Introduction to the local training
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Local training 1
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Local training 2
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Sampling at the military plot
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Sampling at the standart plot
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Visit to the potential end user firm

Institute of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Kazakhstan
National University “Lvivska Polytechnika” (NULP)

Project team from NULP is led by Co-Director Pavlo Shapoval, PhD, associate professor, Department of Analytical Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology and Ph.D students of the Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology: Martyn Sozanskyi and Vitalii Stadnik.

NULP, Ukraine

National University “Lvivska Politechnika” founded in 1844 is the largest university in the Western Ukraine. NULP consists of 19 institutes including 107 academic departments; it has about 36,000 students, 600 PhD candidates. A faculty of about 2200 staff members provides the educational process, 280 of them are professors (holding Dr.Sc. degree) and over 1200 associate professors (holding Ph.D.degree). Since 1961 NULP trains international students and at present there are more than 300 students from 20 countries. The University is a member of the following international organizations: Magna Charta Universitatum; European University Association, Alliance of Universities for Democracy, Association of Carpathian Region Universities, Board of European Students of Technology; Association des Etats Généraux des Etudiants de l’Europe / European Students’ Forum.
Academic map of the University covers all major engineering specialties as well as sciences, languages, architecture, humanities and law.
3-cycle system of education (bachelor, master cycles as well as PhD) is introduced at NULP. There are 64 Bachelor program (20,000 students) and 129 Master program (8,000 students), and 117 Ph.D. specialties (over 600 PhD candidates) covering all major engineering specialties as well as some humanitarian and science program. NULP is a leading entity in Ukraine in interflow between education/research processes and industry requests
Institute of Chemistry and Chemical Technology consists of 11 departments: General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, Physical and Colloidal Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology of Silicates, Chemistry and Technology of Nonorganic Substances, Chemical Technology of Organic Substances, Chemical Technology of Oil and Gas, Chemistry of Polymers.
Since 2014 the Department of Analytical Chemistry has been involved in providing analytical service for exploring phytoprocess at the soils contaminated by heavy metals. That research is going on in cooperation with UJEP, NULES and KSU. The Department of Analytical Chemistry is equipped with GC, IR spectrometers, spectrophotometers, Roentgen-fluorescence analyzer Expert-3L (INAM, Ukraine). For accomplishment of the project it is necessary to purchase a new XRF Analyzer Expert 3L.

Mail planned activities by team from NULP within the project G4687

Explore the impact of metals nature and concentrations, oil residues to the effectiveness of phytoremediation with using the second generation crops will be provide by Roentgen-fluorescence analysis using analyzer Expert (INAM, Ukraine). In analyzer the highly sensitive method of nondestructive elemental analysis, the energy dispersion X-ray technique has been implemented using the method of fundamental parameters by mean of the disturbance characteristic radiation for atoms of sample by photons from brake spectra which was obtained by means of low-power X-ray tube and registration of this radiation by semiconductor PIN-detector equipped with thermo-electric cooling.
Desktop precision analyzer EXPERT is designed for laboratory researches of various types of objects. Analyzer features spacious measurement chamber with actuator operated cover. Free access to all surface of measurement table allows to set samples of any dimensions.
 Analyzer is equipped with a helium purge channel system and built-in thermal printer.

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Dr.Pavlo Shapoval
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PhD student Martyn Sozanskyi
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PhD student Vitalii Stadnik